About Street Child

child on dump collecting trash.jpg

Street Child supports children living in poverty in the world’s toughest places to go to school and learn to read and write for a brighter future.

We believe that education is a fundamental human right and the surest pathway to a life free from poverty, so we work with children who are excluded from the education system, or who live in places where the system does not exist / has collapsed:

• Children living in rural villages, where there are no schools

• Children living in refugee camps

• Girls, whose education is not considered important

• Children orphaned by Ebola or conflict, who have no one to support their schooling

• Children whose education was disrupted by disaster or conflict

• Children living in extreme poverty, who have no hope of reaching school

One-third of the world's out-of-school children live in disaster and conflict-affected countries. This percentage is rising annually, yet only 2% of humanitarian funds are spent on education in these emergency zones. Education in emergencies is therefore a huge part of what we do.


There are currently 121 million school-aged children out of education world-wide. Millions more children are in school but failing to learn. Some children live in rural areas that have never had a school, or regions where classrooms have been destroyed because of disaster or conflict. Some children are in schools that are simply not good enough, with hundreds of students per classroom; no toilets or sanitary facilities; unpaid, under-resourced teachers, and a desperate lack of learning materials.

In some places, parental and community attitudes can often also hold back children's education, especially for girls from late elementary-school age and upwards, stopping them from going to school or making them earn a living for the family instead of getting an education.


We recognize that the barriers to education are complex and interlinked, so we work with local partners to implement targeted, holistic interventions that remove all barriers to quality education – crucial for sustainability and impact. Our projects focus on a combination of education, child protection and livelihood support to address the social, economic and structural issues that underpin today’s education crisis:

  • Teacher training;

  • School construction / refurbishment;

  • Livelihoods support;

  • Child protection through trauma counselling, family tracing and family strengthening;

  • Attitudinal change training within communities;

  • Health and safety education; and

  • Emergency relief where necessary.

Finally, wherever we work, we partner with local organizations and communities, building their capacity and independence.

We believe that every child deserves the right to safety and to be empowered through education. Working in some of the poorest areas in the world, we strive to ensure that every child has the chance to go to school and learn.

Girls - GATE Project - Pujehun-4818.jpg

How it all began

In 2008, Founder and global CEO Tom Dannatt travelled out to Sierra Leone, then the poorest country in the world. While there, he witnessed unimaginable poverty. Children as young as five were living, working or surviving on the streets; they were alone, out of school and without hope for the future. He was inspired to act.

So, Street Child was born.

The plan: to find 100 street-connected children and help them back into a family and back to school.

Since then, we have helped over 250,000 children to go to school and supported over 22,000 families to set up businesses in some of the world's toughest places.  

What We Do

We work with local partners to provide sustainable, cost-effective solutions, that have maximum impact. We focus on protecting children by reuniting them with families to care for them; educating children by improving access to quality learning opportunities; empowering families through provision of income generation opportunities; and supporting children in emergencies

Our Impact 

Our focus is on low-cost sustainable solutions that make a real difference to the children we support. Since 2008, we have helped over 250,000 children to go to school and learn with 94% retention. , and have supported more than 22,000 families to set up businesses so they can afford the cost of educating their children long-term.